Mansfield: James Hylton preview

MEMPHIS TN (June 17, 2009) -- One rarely runs across a personpossessed with acharismatic attraction the magnitude of the late NASCAR driver Tim Richmond. The well-heeled Richmond entered the sport at a time when the vast majority of its drivers...

MEMPHIS TN (June 17, 2009) -- One rarely runs across a personpossessed with acharismatic attraction the magnitude of the late NASCAR driver Tim Richmond. The well-heeled Richmond entered the sport at a time when the vast majority of its drivers were primarily from blue-collar backgrounds. Ever the flamboyant playboy, Richmond stood in stark contrast to the mostly conservative NASCAR drivers of the era. Richmond lived life just as he drove, flat-out and to the max. The lasting image of Richmond is at a victory lane party with a trophy in one hand and a beauty queen in the other.

James Hylton is one of the few active drivers that raced with Richmond in NASCAR's Winston Cup Series. On Saturday, Hylton will compete in the ARCA RE/MAX Series Tim Richmond Memorial 200 at Mansfield Motorsports Park in Mansfield OH. During their careers, Richmond and Hylton raced against each other in 51 NASCAR Winston Cup Series events. "I remember getting lapped by race leader Dale Earnhardt Sr at Pocono one afternoon back in the early eighties," reminisced Hylton, "as we were entering turn one, here comes Tim Richmond flat out and at the top of track. We came out three-wide with Richmond passing both me and Earnhardt for the lead. I had never seen anyone take a car that high into a turn and make it stick. I can still see the dust and dirt flying."

During his career, Richmond competed in 185 NASCAR Winston Cup Series events and won on 13 occasions. The Ashland, OH native's career ended prematurely as he became infected with HIV and was physically unable to compete. "If Tim's career hadn't have been cut-short there is no telling what he could have accomplished," stated Hylton, "he definitely would have won a lot more races and probably a championship or two."

Richmond staged a courageous comeback in NASCAR during 1987 that included wins at both Pocono and Michigan. "Richmond could drive a race car better than anyone I've ever seen," said Hylton, "Richmond had the magic; he could drive a car deeper into a turn than anybody that's ever been in NASCAR. He was truly a hard drivin' son of a gun."

-credit: Hylton Motorsports

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , James Hylton , Tim Richmond